By Sarah Bransley
Volunteering is a wonderful way to give back to the community. Champaign-Urbana is surrounded by selfless individuals who provide their time and money every day to provide services and products to those in need. If you’re looking to be one of those people (and love animals), I have a couple places that might interest you!
First up is S.H.A.R.E. or The Society for Hooved Animals’ Rescue and Emergency. This is an amazing organization dedicated to educating the public about the health and well-being of hooved animals. They are a non-profit that provides housing, care, and training for rescue horses that are then put up for adoption. They are well-known in the Champaign area for their special care of horses with difficult backgrounds. I myself have had a chance to volunteer here and they are so caring and dedicated to their work, you can tell the horses really shine under their care. If you’d like to help them out they take both groups & individuals, so if you have a group of friends or an RSO they can use your help! The most help, as always, is someone willing to go on a set schedule because those horses need to be fed every day and the stalls cleaned out.
The next organization I’d like to introduce you to is the VetMed Wildlife Clinic. Now this clinic requires a lot more dedication and responsibility if you want to volunteer here. Not only do you have to go through an application process with an interview and work a minimum of 15 hours a week, but you need to get a round of rabies vaccinations that probably costs more than your rent for the month. However, the experience you get here, if you are interested in working with wildlife, is unparalleled. They have on hand raptors that are unable to be returned to the wild for various reasons. Raptors, of course, referring to the bird variety, not the dinosaur. These guys are used for educational purposes for both the public and the students at VetMed. As a volunteer you get to assist VetMed interns run the clinic by helping intake, care, and release all animals admitted to the clinic. A serious commitment for a serious wildlife lover.
If you’re looking for a volunteer opportunity, ask yourself two things. Am I doing this for my enjoyment or to add to my resume? And if it’s to add to my resume, what skills will I gain by performing this activity? Employers love seeing a rounded individual, especially when you can relate skills from your outside activities back to the task at hand. Happy volunteering!
By Sarah Bransley
Everyone knows that volunteering is important and looks good on your CV, but did you know exactly how many volunteering opportunities there are on campus? There are so many that I can’t count them all. I will, however, go over my two favorite volunteering opportunities.
The first is at the Champaign County Humane Society (CCHS). It’s accessible by car or bus in east Urbana and is the main hub for the entire county’s needy animals. I’ve volunteered here before both as a Critter Care Volunteer and as a Medical Volunteer. I adore their vision and encourage anyone interested in animals who understand the commitment to apply. They have regular volunteer orientations at the local libraries. When I volunteered you signed up for a time slot and were expected to show up every week for 4 months. You start off cleaning cages & can move up “ranks” as you are trained in different aspects of the jobs. If you have experience in the field, talk to the volunteer coordinators as they may utilize your skills!
My second favorite place for volunteering is the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum in downtown Champaign. Depending on where you live you could walk, but I’d probably stick to the bus system. Certain RSOs volunteer here occasionally on special days, but they need volunteers all the time. If you go to their website you can see all the different jobs they have for volunteers. This museum has been around for 20 years and helps local kids get excited about science and art! What an amazing opportunity to help out the next generation.
If my two favorite places to volunteer don’t pique your interest, try visiting the Office of Volunteer Programs office, or website, to see if you can find something that fits you.
By Sarah Bransley
With as many Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) as there are at the UIUC campus, it’s hard to find the right fit for you. That’s why the bloggers from TAG are starting a series called the RSO Spotlight! Members of TAG will write about RSOs that they are active in and give insight into what is great (and not so great) about each one.
For the first RSO spotlight, I’ll be covering Integrative Illini. This RSO is specifically for, but not limited to, Integrative Biology majors. This RSO doubles as a social and academic RSO. Many events through the year include meet and greets, camping, tutoring for STEM courses, and informational meetings on undergraduate research and internships.
I like Integrative Illini because it allows me to interact with other IB majors and get help with finding research jobs and internships. The exec board is very knowledgeable about these topics and are generally happy to assist any student with questions. The only drawback I can think of is member attendance. Since IB is a smaller major, the RSO is on the smaller side and not every meeting or social event will have tons of people. I like the one-on-one interaction I get with a smaller group, but I have talked with some people who would rather attend large social events.
No matter what size RSO you are more comfortable with, I would say that checking out Integrative Illini is a must for anyone interested in biology. The access to research and internship opportunities alone is worth your time. You can see what Integrative Illini is up to by visiting this Facebook page ->